The South Carolina Stingrays kicked off the 2008-09 ECHL preseason with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Alaska Aces before 4,805 fans Wednesday night at Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, AK.
Jeff Rainville opened the game’s scoring at 11:00 of the 1st period, one-timing a shot from in front of Alaska goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux. Travis Morin, South Carolina’s leading scorer in 2007-08, and Matt Scherer earned assists on the power-play tally.
Following a scoreless second period, Erik Felde erased the Stingrays lead just 46 seconds into the 3rd stanza, firing a wrist shot past Rays netminder Josh Johnson. The short-handed marker tied the contest 1-1.
Paul Kelly would elevate South Carolina to their second lead of the contest at 5:16, redirecting the puck past Lamoureux for his first goal of the preseason. Morin and Sasha Pokulok notched assists on the go-ahead goal.
With both teams skating four on four, Corbin Schmidt registered Alaska’s second equalizer of the period, backhanding an attempt past Johnson at 16:02. Ed Hill collected his second assist of the game while Colin Hemingway earned the secondary playmaker.
On a delayed Stingrays penalty, Lee Green, who scored just two goals last season, pocketed the game-winning marker at 1:15 of sudden death, beating Johnson for Alaska’s first-ever win against South Carolina.
Johnson, a 23-game winner last season for South Carolina, turned aside 30 of 33 shots in defeat.
Lamoureux, who was a Hobey Baker Award top ten finalist last season for the University of North Dakota, earned the win with a 34-save performance.
South Carolina and Alaska, meeting for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign, conclude their preseason schedule Thursday with an 11:15 pm face-off. Bobby Goepfert, who earned two preseason victories with the Hershey Bears recently, is expected to draw the start in goal for the Stingrays while Alexandre Vincent and former Charlotte Checkers goalie Chris Holt will likely split time between the pipes for the Aces.
Mark your Calendars – the Stingrays open up the 2008-09 season at home against the Augusta Lynx on Saturday, October 18. The game will be at the North Charleston Coliseum starting at 7:05 p.m.
South Carolina 1 0 1 0--2
Alaska 0 0 2 1--3
FIRST PERIOD – Scoring: 1, SC, Rainville 1 (power play) (Morin, Scherer), 11:00. Penalties: Fabian, AK (interference), 7:35; Kelly, SC (roughing), 9:06; Tuzzolino, AK (roughing), 9:06; Dovgan, SC (interference), 10:47; B. Hemingway, AK (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:47; Kroll, SC (interference), 13:08; Curry, AK (hooking), 15:47; Kelly, SC (holding), 16:01; Richards, AK (cross-checking), 19:31.
SECOND PERIOD – Scoring: None. Penalties: Morin, SC (interference), 1:36; Keith, AK (slashing), 1:36; Rainville, SC (hooking), 4:25; Waldrop, AK (holding), 6:07; Richards, AK (elbowing), 8:52; Curry, AK (roughing), 19:01.
THIRD PERIOD – Scoring: 2, AK, Felde 1 (short-handed) (Foreman, Hill), :46. 3, SC, Kelly 1 (Morin, Pokulok), 5:16. 4, AK, Schmidt 1 (Hill, C. Hemingway), 16:02. Penalties: Maxwell, SC (goaltender interference), 15:27; Green, AK (high-sticking), 15:27; Kroll, SC (boarding), 17:06.
OVERTIME -- Scoring: 5, AK, Green 1 (game-winner) (C. Hemingway, Erickson), 1:15. Penalties: None.
Notes: South Carolina finished 1-7 on the power-play, while Alaska ended at 0-4 … The Stingrays outshot the Aces 36-33 … South Carolina utilized just 13 skaters, scratching Trent Campbell, Pierre-Luc O’Brien and Zach Tarkir. Veteran D Nate Kiser did not make the trip … Kelly led all skaters with 9 shots on goal … In their only prior head-to-head meetings, South Carolina defeated Alaska in a pair of games at the North Charleston Coliseum in March 2004 … Alaska is wearing special jerseys for their “Paint The Rink Pink” promotion during the two-game series versus the Rays, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the American Cancer Society and Breast Cancer Focus, Inc. … 3 Stars of the Game: (1) Lamoureux, (2) Hill, (3) Green … Referee: Jason Nissen … The Hershey Bears kicked off the 2008-09 American Hockey League regular season Wednesday evening with an 8-4 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Goaltender Daren Machesney picked up the victory for Hershey while another former Stingray, Andrew Gordon, collected three points. 2007-08 Stingrays defensemen Sean Collins, Grant McNeill and Patrick McNeill were scratched from the Bears lineup.
Don’t miss any of the fast-paced, hard-hitting action of the 2008-09 season; purchase your ticket package today! For more information, including benefits, pricing, and package options, call the Stingrays at 744-2248 or view the information online at www.stingrayshockey.com.
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